Singapore's Raffles Infrastructure Holdings Limited has entered a joint venture in Bangladesh as part of a major real estate deal to build a $1 billion township, one of the largest housing projects in Dhaka.
The Army Welfare Trust owns the 51.93-acre project land in Baunia designated for the development of an integrated residential town, "Trust Green City", adjacent to Mirpur DOHS and Uttara. More than 5,000 apartments will be built there, each covering 600-4,000 square feet area.
"It will be a clean and smart city, just like what you see in Hong Kong and Singapore," said Brig Gen Mahmood Hasan who looks after the planning, development, and construction of the project.
The foundation stone will be laid on 30 December. After that, It will take six months to one year to mobilise resources, and another five years to start the handover of the apartments built in zones 2,3 and 4 of Baunia, he added.
About 400 bighas of land in Baunia will be divided into five sectors and zones 1 and 5 will be developed for commercial and rehabilitation purposes.
Raffles Infrastructure will be responsible for designing, financing, construction, marketing, and maintenance of the Trust Green City, while Cupertino Power Ltd, the Bangladeshi party in the venture, will take care of the business and day-to-day operations.
The joint venture will be known as Raffles Infrastructure Development Bangladesh Ltd, with Raffles holding 85% of the company and Cupertino 15%, Raffles said in a filing to the Singapore stock exchange on Tuesday.
An agreement on the collaboration was signed on 30 November last. The project value is estimated at about $1 billion (around Tk8,437 crore), according to Raffles Infrastructure.
Upon completion of this maiden project in Bangladesh, we aim to establish a stronger presence in the region where we are actively exploring more business opportunities
Trust Green City is a state-of-the-art dream project of the Bangladesh Army, "with the noble purpose of creating socio-economic opportunities, as well as building a smart and environmentally-friendly small township conducive to healthy living," the Army Welfare Trust said while signing the deal with Raffles Infrastructure.
The local company will help to process applications for various licenses and permits "from the relevant authorities in Bangladesh".
Cupertino Power Ltd has expertise in project planning, feasibility studies and setting up "Operations for investors and entrepreneurs from the USA, Singapore and Japan", Raffles said in the stock exchange filing.
Eric Choo, chief executive of Raffles Infrastructure, told Singapore-based The Business Times, "Upon completion of this maiden project in Bangladesh, we aim to establish a stronger presence in the region where we are actively exploring more business opportunities."
Other projects under Welfare Trust in Baunia
The Army Welfare Trust will also develop zone 1 as a commercial area on 145 bighas of land.
The commercial zone will have a central business district, an amusement park, a hospital, a hotel and two schools. There will also be condominiums catering to the housing demand of people working within the area.
Zone 5, with an area of 100 bighas, will be developed for housing specifically for those who have exchanged land with the Welfare Trust for land development, said Brig Gen Hasan.